World Nutella Day is coming up tomorrow. Yeah, there is such a thing: World Nutella Day. I’m not making it up. And while I guess that someone at the Ferrero Roche company might object to me calling this homemade hazelnut chocolate spread Nutella, it is more or less the same thing, eh? So there you have it: make your own to celebrate the day!
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed*
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (option, but gives great depth of flavor)
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
In a food processor, grind toasted hazelnuts to a paste (as fine as you can get them). Once hazelnuts are ground, add oil, cocoa, vanilla, confectioners sugar and espresso powder (if using) to your food processor. Blend for 20-30 seconds, to combine.
In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine paste with about 1/3 of the sweetened condensed milk. Stir until smooth then add another 1/3, stir again, then add remaining milk. Continue stirring until mixture is smooth and sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to jars or other storage container.
Once completely cool, store in refrigerator. When using, if thick, just microwave for a few seconds to soften and make spreadable.
*Here’s a great trick for removing skins from hazelnuts: before toasting, take 2 cups water, add 3 tablespoons baking soda and your nuts. Simmer for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly in cold water. Using a paper towel, you should be able to rub the skins right off. After this toast as you normally would in a pan on the stove in a non-stick dry pan, or in a 350F oven for 10 minutes, checking frequently so that they do not burn. Cool completely before moving on to the next step.